Wednesday, May 10, 2017

the chicken kitchen clerk

Lately I can't help but boil this magnanimous miracle of Life down to a continued sequence of isolated and annoying parts, seemingly aimed at validating the aphorism that it always gets worse before it gets better.

Just for fun, the other day I decided to self administer a Holmes and Rahe Stress Test which effectively lists 43 major life stressors and attaches a "life change units" score to each point. A score above 150 puts you at moderate risk for illness and a score above 300 puts you at high risk for illness. 

I scored 450. 

(scoring low always stressed me out anyway). 

All this extra systemic excitement probably explains why I have had another visit by that herpetic gift that has kept on giving for 10 years in the depths of my right nostril (so close it could reach out and touch my brain). I have also had a sore throat, fever, and over the course of three weeks broken out in hives almost every day on various parts of my body.

One of the points on the Holmes & Rahe Stress Scale is "changing residence" which accounts for a minuscule 20 life change points; I would have expected more. I genuinely thought that moving to an english speaking country would have been cake compared to moving to Italy when I didn't speak Italian. Nope. Same same. I am once again the frequent recipient of the unsettling blank stare for what I can only understand to be consequence of the bad jokes I tell and/or the incomprehensible accent I possess. I am also perpetually confused about what time I'm supposed to be anywhere because Brits say things like "see you at half eleven" and I don't know if that means 10:30, 11:30, or 5:30. (If your logic also brought you to 5:30 then I love you and we should be mates.) 

Construction is still going on here at my father's residence where I'm indefinitely on the very comfortable air mattress. The electricity and plumbing shuts off spontaneously and the convos between dad and me tend to go like this:


Dad: "No pooping or flushing the loo for the next 2 hours!!!!!!!!!!!"

Me: Can I shower?

Dad: "Yes that's fine"

Me: Can I poop in the shower?


In effort to have some social interaction and calm the fuck down, I succumbed to the Tinder machine, only to wake up the morning after a late afternoon date with angioedema of my lip, without even having had physical contact with the stranger. So 72 hours after having very publicly marketed myself desperate for a man who could make me laugh, I deleted the app and am back to spending time with my dad, mostly in the kitchen, requesting his assistance to document the hives on my bare ass. Dad happens to be a semi professional photographer and quite fussy about capturing the f-stop and aperture on my welts in the correct way, staging these certifiably awkward photo shoots in the kitchen while the blinds are open. I'm pretty sure the brick layers in the back have some strong opinions about what kind of deviant household we comprise. 

My dad has actually been very helpful in assisting me on the path to legitimacy in this country. Yesterday he picked up some paperwork and a pee cup for me to register with the National Health Service as well as a local general practitioner. Naturally I urinated all over my hand and then presented to the doctor's office with the relevant forms, only to discover that I'd been trudging along the streets of Hertfordshire with body fluids in my purse unnecessarily. I'll have my first appointment next week. Hopefully the GP will be able to present me a toolbox by which I can try to lower my Holmes & Rahe score so that I can stop catastrophizing my life and get a hold on myself. I have been so exhausted that my emotions have become embarrassingly unrestrained. Yesterday I cried three times: the first was around 8am while watching the instagram video of blogger Chiara Ferragni and Italian rapper Fedez get engaged at his concert in Verona. The second was at 3:00pm when I re-watched the instagram video of blogger Chiara Ferragni and Italian rapper Fedez get engaged at his concert in Verona. And the third was at 3:30pm when my dad came home with a desk from the charity shop for me so that I could have a proper place to write. I cried more in secret as he polished it up for me. And I may or may not be crying right now as I sit here typing.

Meanwhile I sort through my woes, dad complains about the fact that his impending 1 week vacation is not long enough because it takes him that much just for his reading speed to amass enough momentum to reach its maximum velocity. At which point I yell "first world problems" and he launches into a monologue about how he invented that phrase 10 years ago. Seems like we're back to the same mutual parent-adolescent eye rolling dynamic we once had.

Finally, in the dizzying holding pattern that is waiting to receive a national insurance number granting me the right to work in the UK, I have somehow been subscribed to a site that posts job openings. This Orwellian style advertising doesn't even surprise or scare me anymore. Last night I got an email from Snagajob exhorting me to apply for various food service positions in Wilmington, North Carolina, the most compelling of which was as a "Chicken Kitchen Clerk". I can't say what kind of websites I have been frequenting to fall into this algorithm of relevant marketing, but as the photographs of the wheals of my butt would corroborate, it's true that I am literally itching to work.

But London, you beautiful creature, I trust you'll soon be worth it. 




No comments: